how to track a conveyor belt

No matter how cautious you are, errors can occur, and machinery eventually wears out over time. Conveyor belts in industrial settings like chemical plants carry various solids. These belts have numerous parts that need to work in harmony. If your conveyor belt malfunctions, it can disrupt your entire system, leading to financial losses and reduced productivity. This blog provides useful tips on how to track a conveyor belt and addresses the potential issues that may arise.

Let’s get started.

What Is A Conveyor Belt System?

A conveyor belt system is a handy machine that swiftly moves stuff from one spot to another. There are different types, but they usually have a frame with wheels, rollers, or a belt to support and transport materials. 

You put your items on top, and off they go! 

These systems can be powered by hand, gravity, or a motor. And because there are lots of variations, each conveyor belt system is designed for a particular job. 

Whether it’s motorized rollers or vertical conveyors, each of these options provides a different way to meet your specific needs. 

However, it’s important to note that every type of conveyor system can run into problems, causing interruptions in the flow of materials and potentially affecting your profits. 

Let’s quickly delve into the next section to find out what these conveyor belt problems might be. 

Common Conveyor Belt Snags

It’s unrealistic to list every possible problem you might encounter with your conveyor belt. However, here are some common snags you’re likely to deal with, along with their expected consequences.

1. Mistracking Of The Conveyor Belt

Conveyor Belt Mistracking happens when the belt veers off its intended path. 

Tracking, which is all about keeping the belt aligned properly, is crucial for smooth operations. Mistracking occurs when something disrupts this alignment, often causing the belt to slip to one side and throwing the whole system off balance.

Mistracking can have serious consequences.

It’s essential to watch for subtle signs of mistracking, even if they don’t initially seem harmful. 

Conveyor belt tracking troubleshooting

When your belt starts shifting side to side and showing signs of wear, it’s time to troubleshoot its alignment. Conveyor tracking issues can stem from different parts of your system. Here’s what to check when your belt begins mistracking:

2. Best Slipping

Conveyor belts need the right amount of tension to function properly. If there’s too much or too little tension, problems arise, and the belt can slip.

Main Causes of Conveyor Belt Slippage: Tension and balance are crucial for belt traction, leading to common slippage causes. Knowing these causes helps you monitor and prevent future issues. Common culprits include:

3. Seized Rollers

When rollers on a conveyor belt get stuck, it’s usually because they’re made of tough materials like steel, which is good for durability. But the downside is, that when they seize, they can develop sharp edges.

These sharp edges can cause big problems for the conveyor system. 

Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on the rollers to prevent this from happening.

4. Blockages

It’s easy for a package to get stuck on a conveyor belt. When this happens, other items behind it can also get trapped, leading to a buildup that clogs the system.

While you can’t always predict or prevent random occurrences, you can take steps to avoid blockages. 

Regularly inspect your conveyor belts for any rough spots or areas where items might snag. Even if a problem seems minor now, it’s best to address it early before it becomes a bigger issue.

5. Material Carryback

Material carryback is when residue accumulates on the conveyor belt itself, typically from materials like clays or mineral ores. Even though it may start small, this buildup grows over time, causing issues with rollers and pulleys underneath the belt.

Aside from causing operational problems, 

To address material carryback, it’s essential to install a cleaning system that effectively removes residue from the belt, ensuring no material is left behind.

6. Material Spillage

Material spillage is a common problem along conveyor systems, especially at transfer and load points. It happens when materials accidentally slide or spill off the belt. While it might not be caused by mechanical issues, it can still lead to blockages or buildup, causing further problems down the line.

7. Belt tears And Rips

Belt tears and seam rips can occur depending on the materials you’re transporting. Products like sharp rocks or coal increase the likelihood of these issues. Even moving heavy packages can cause friction and thin spots that lead to tears. 

These tears and rips disrupt belt function and reduce productivity. 

Repairing them requires a good process, which may involve contacting a professional or having a trained team member perform the repairs to minimize downtime.

Now that we know what the various problems are, let’s look into different conveyor belt tracking methods. 

Ways To Avoid Problems With Conveyor Belts

To ensure your conveyor system operates smoothly, it’s crucial to proactively prevent issues. This means staying vigilant and regularly inspecting your system for signs of excessive wear or any abnormalities. 

Here are some key steps you can take to maintain smooth operation:

1. Look For Buildups

2. Keep Your System Clean on a Regular Basis

This way, you’re more likely to catch problems early and prevent any issues that could arise from dirt or excessive material buildup.

3. Check Frame Alignment Regularly

4. Ensure Even Alignment of End Pulleys

5. Verify Straight Belt Cuts

Checking that the belt is cut straight doesn’t need to be done every time you conduct maintenance, as a single inspection suffices. Nonetheless, it remains crucial to perform this check.

FAQs: How to track a Conveyor Belt: Common Issues and Solutions

How exactly does conveyor tracking function?

Conveyor belt tracking involves aligning and managing a conveyor belt to follow a specific path. It requires adjusting idlers, pulleys, and loading conditions to correct any deviation from the intended direction of the belt.

How do you maintain proper alignment of a conveyor belt?

To keep your conveyor belt centered and running smoothly, remember the acronym CITA: Clean, Inspect, Tension, Adjust. Following this process ensures your conveyor operates efficiently and prevents premature wear and tear.

What leads to conveyor belt fires?

Friction is a major culprit behind conveyor belt fires. When rollers seize up or bearings overheat, they can produce significant friction and heat. This poses a grave danger, especially in environments prone to explosions or fires.


By knowing about typical problems with conveyor belts, using a well-defined conveyor belt tracking procedure, preventive maintenance tactics, and keeping yourself updated, you can guarantee that your material flow stays smooth and effective.

Keep in mind that a well-kept conveyor system is a productive and profitable one. Start taking care of your conveyor belt today to maximize your operations for lasting success.

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